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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Contract settlements: acceptance: SAFE - amending a charge

The guidance about contract settlements at EM6000+ only relates to direct tax. You must never include VAT or VAT penalties in a contract settlement.

If, exceptionally, you need to amend a SAFE charge you must complete a SAFE LC Class 1 Amendment Stencil and send this to either the SAFE nominee or, if you work in Local Compliance, the Centralised SAFE Team. In a covering email you must also include details of

  • the charge reference
  • the amount of the decrease.

If you need to increase the charge, because a taxpayer wants to extend an instalment arrangement, see EM6418. Under these circumstances you must also contact the DMB Self Assessment Single Point of Contact to discuss the best way of ensuing that DMB do not pursue the debts relating to the existing instalment arrangement.

Otherwise, if the amendment is to an instalment offer, you must specify which instalments need changing so that they match the revised total.

If the SAFE nominee or centralised SAFE Team tells you they cannot amend the charge for any reason, you must complete a SAFE 2 Charge Amendment Stencil (SAFE 2 New) and send it directly to the Miscellaneous Charges Unit. You will find all the SAFE stencils in SEES Forms and Letters.

If the amendment generates an overpayment that requires reallocating, you must send your request to the Miscellaneous Charges Unit. To re-allocate a payment you must complete one of the following stencils.

1) ‘Stencil - transfer of payments to other Heads of Duty’ - this is to re-allocate payments from SAFE to a different Head of Duty System.

2) ‘Stencil - transfer of payments within SAFE’ - this is to re-allocate payments from one SAFE reference to another SAFE reference.

If a repayment is going to arise from the charge amendment, you must follow the instructions in EM6417. You should normally seek authorisation, to make any repayment before you ask the SAFE nominee or, if you work in Local Compliance, the Centralised SAFE Team, to amend the charge.

Action by SAFE Nominees or Centralised SAFE Team

On receipt of a request to amend a charge, you must use the SAFE role ‘Maintain Charge’ to amend the charge. This role may not allow amendments to a charge on line if

  • any part of the charge (or any part of an associated interest charge) has been remitted, or
  • the charge was raised pre-SAFE and only part of the charge transferred onto SAFE, or
  • the charge was raised and fully paid pre-SAFE.

In these cases you should tell the enquiry officers why they cannot amend a charge, and advise them to send a SAFE Charge Amendment Stencil (SAFE 2 New) directly to the Miscellaneous Charges Unit.